How are ventilating tubes used to treat viral ear infections?

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Surgical implantation of tubes through the eardrum is sometimes necessary to treat chronic cases of viral ear infection. These tiny metal or plastic tubes create a channel to the middle ear, allowing pressure to equalize and drainage to occur. The procedure is carried out under general anesthesia but on an outpatient basis. Positive results are usually immediate, and, as the infection clears up and the last of the fluid drains away, the tubes usually fall out on their own after a few months.

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